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Toyota updates world’s only seven-seat hybrid

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When it comes to hybrid cars, there is one company that stands out as the leader of the pack; Toyota. The Japanese car giant introduced its first Prius in 1997 and since then has endeavoured to introduce hybrids across supermini, medium car, large car, estate, off-roader and luxury car segments. And it also sells the only seven-seat hybrid on the market – the Prius+.

This people carrier version of the popular hybrid hatchback has offered seven usable seats since its birth in 2012, but Toyota has now seen fit to spruce up the car in light of newer competition. The Prius+ receives a smoother look, which mimics the Prius hatchback with its sharper LED headlights.

The updated model receives design updates on the inside to and gains Toyota’s ‘Touch 2’ multimedia system as standard, which includes touchscreen control, Bluetooth and a handy reversing camera. It can also be upgraded to offer sat nav, live traffic information and online services. A new high-mounted 4.2-inch screen now displays fuel consumption and hybrid system information along with air conditioning and audio settings, which all sit within the driver’s line of sight.

Several new options have been added, including electric seat adjustment, a front centre armrest plus a park assist system, which helps you into parking spaces. The Prius+ also has hill-start assist control, which helps you pull off on inclines and indicators that now automatically trigger under emergency braking.

The way the car drives has also come in for attention, with adjusted dampers offering a better balance between comfort and road holding. Refinement levels have also been improved with new insulation added to the side of the rear passenger compartment.

Full details of UK specifications and prices will be announced soon, though we’d expect these to rise slightly over the current car’s starting price of £26,145.

Author: Christofer Lloyd

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